Your guests have RSVP'd, the date is slowly approaching, and as you start to think about each guest, you wonder to yourself, "how can I be an inclusive host?" Being an inclusive host shouldn’t be a daunting task, but it does require a little extra thoughtfulness and preparation. Whether you are hosting an evening party or a house full of weekend guests your most important job is to make sure everyone feels welcome, included and comfortable.
You can do this by knowing your guests needs well ahead of your event, especially when entertaining a non-drinker, newly sober guest or anyone who just simply wants to keep the drinking light this weekend.
A few things to consider as you are planning your next party:
- Will the environment work for everyone? A lawn party sounds great, but will the uneven ground work for grandma with her walker? Where can everyone gather comfortably?
- Are there personal schedules that need to be considered before meal times are set? Naps for babies? Early departure times?
- Any dietary restrictions? Allergies? Make sure there is food on the table that everyone can eat and that no food poses a danger to any guest. Provide lots of options!
- Take help from your guests. Most people offer to contribute to a meal or help when they arrive. Pitching in is a great way to make everyone feel they are part of the event.
- Be inclusive with all your beverage options. Be sure there are plenty of non-alcoholic options and serve these drinks in the same glassware as your alcoholic drinks. Nothing makes a non-drinker feel more awkward than drinking from a large glass with a straw while everyone else is sipping from elegant stemware!
Most importantly, relax and have fun knowing that you’ve prepared an inclusive, welcoming event for the people you care about most.
Margaret is a Certified Professional Life Coach, Certified Professional Recovery Coach and a Certified She Recovers Coach. She holds a B.A in Psychology, a Masters Degree in Education and has worked in the field of Education for over 30 years.